The Guard’s role in Vietnam was limited, but distinguished, thanks to Company D (Ranger) of the Indiana National Guard. Company D was the only Army National Guard ground maneuver unit to deploy to Vietnam. With over 500 decorations, the Indiana Rangers were the most decorated Army infantry company for a year-long deployment. Their example blazed a trail for the Guard as part of the Total Force policy.
Hi, I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum, here in DC, and this is YOUR Minuteman Minute! It’s a misconception that National Guard service was a way to avoid the Vietnam War. More than 9,000 Guardsmen served in Vietnam and over 200 came from Indiana’s Company D (Rangers). This uniform belonged to Specialist Fourth Class Charles Larry Rhodes, who left Indianapolis with Company D in May 1968. The Indiana Rangers were one of only eight Army National Guard units deployed intact to Vietnam, and the only one that was a ground maneuver unit. They conducted over 900 intelligence-gathering operations behind enemy lines and participated in 94 combat engagements. Company D lost six soldiers and received more decorations than any other Army infantry company for a one-year deployment. Their example blazed the trail for more Guard involvement in future conflicts and the Total Force policy we have today. Come see this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial Museum. I’m Will Roulett, [Look at watch.] and that’s been your Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.